“I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life”
Home Church Devotional 4/26/2020
These devotionals were written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowed to meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of a full sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” John 14:5-8 (ESV)
Our passage comes right after Jesus has once again told His disciples that He would be leaving them to return to His Father in heaven. This is not a new revelation to the disciples though they certainly act as if they had not heard the news before. There are seven times in John’s gospel alone where Jesus has told the disciples He would be returning to the Father. It should be clear by tis point but the disciples still do not fully understand this teaching of Jesus. Thomas shows this by the statement and question that begin our passage. “We do not know where…How can we know…?”
Like us, the disciples are thinking in terms of this world—time and space. So, going must mean physically moving from one place to another. The response of Jesus shows that the destination is not a physical place but a person, the Father, and that the way to that destination is yet another person, the Son. Once again, the disciples have mistaken Jesus for a worldly Messiah, thinking nothing of the spiritual realm that Jesus talks about. They are looking for a kingdom of an earthly nature and their reaction to Jesus going clearly indicates they are still thinking of the earthly. Before we judge the disciple though, we must take a look at ourselves and remember we are just as bad. We seek after earthly power, position and wealth; we look for pomp and circumstance in our achievements; we gather possessions at an alarming rate to satisfy a need within ourselves. No, we are no better than the disciples!
Jesus replies with “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only Way to the Father; Jesus is the only Truth, or reality, of all God’s promises; and Jesus is the Life as he joins his divine life to ours, both now and eternally. Jesus is the way that leads to the truth and life. Jesus is our Mediator with the Father for no man can reach God unless he approaches the Father first through the Son, Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus and His sacrificial work on the cross that we can stand justified and sanctified before the Father. Our redemption is secured by no other name or means, Jesus is the Mediator between sinful people and a holy God.
Jesus the Way. There is a difference between pointing the way to a particular place and taking someone by the hand and leading them there. The person who guides another person to their destination literally becomes the way themselves. Jesus Christ not only points out and tells a person how to walk through life and how to reach God, He personally shows people the way. Therefore, He Himself is the Way. Jesus the Truth. There is a difference between telling someone about the truth and living the truth before them. The one who lives the truth literally becomes the truth.
There are three ways that Jesus is the Truth. First, Jesus Christ is the Embodiment of truth. He is the picture of truth. God not only talks to man about Himself, God shows man what He is like in revealing Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Man can look at Jesus Christ and see a perfect picture of the truth of God. Second, Jesus Christ is the Communicator of truth. He Himself—His Person and His Life—makes things perfectly clear. He reveals the ultimate source and meaning and end of all things. He reveals the truth of all mankind and of the world surrounding mankind. He shows man the right way to the truth, and He enables people to choose the right way to the truth. Third, Jesus Christ is the Liberatorof truth. He sets people free from the great gulf, the separation which exists between mankind and God, between people and their world, and between all people. He sets people free from the frustrations which they constantly experience. He frees people from the fears and weaknesses and defects that plague them. Jesus Christ is the only lasting Liberator on earth.
Finally, Jesus the Life; there is a difference between telling someone about life and actually living life. The one who lives is the one who possesses life, and the more perfect one lives, the more life one possesses. Jesus Christ lived perfectly; therefore, He possesses life perfectly. He is the Life: the very embodiment, energy, force, and source of life itself. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Giver of life. John records these words in the first chapter of his gospel account: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”(John 1:3 (ESV) Paul continues this theme in the letter to the Colossians church: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
Our world has been turned upside down. Doubt fear and anxiety fill our everyday lives. But one thing remains certain and will never change. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, now and forever more. Amen.